Here's a comment I've just made on a blog post :
"Although I don’t like the term ‘mental illness’ or the fact that
governments have hijacked ‘recovery’, I would be concerned about a move
to force people off benefits and into paid work. This is happening
where I live at present. Under the guise of benefits assessments and
For years and years psychiatry has been telling people that they have
a lifelong mental illness that requires lifelong medication and that
they won’t be able to do paid work. Now that we’re in a recession the
economic pressures mean that the mantra is changing. The topsy turvy
world of mental health.
Those of us who are able to do paid work shouldn’t be putting
pressure on others who are not able to do paid work. People can be
gainfully employed without being organisationally employed.
Voluntary/charity work is beneficial. Helping in our communities,
helping our neighbour. It might not mean getting a pay check but it can
be making a difference to many lives.
Excuse the rant but I do get fed up with the idea that if we’re not
earning money then we’re not doing anything useful with our lives. I
have always worked voluntarily, I’m nearly 60 now. And now I mostly do
voluntary work, many hours a week writing and campaigning, going to
meetings, trying to bring about improvements to mental
health/psychiatric services and hopefully even a transformation.
Let’s not go on about people on benefits/social security. Rather let
us go on about the psychiatric system, about government and about
injustice for the marginalised."
And then in an Email accompanying the comment:
"I really do hope that we're
not going to join with governments in hounding people off
benefits/social security and into 'work'. Some of us are working
tirelessly to change the system, without getting paid to do it. I know
of many others in Scotland who might be on 'benefits' but who are doing
their bit for society and to improve mental health matters."